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Meet Ian McCallum, the host of the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account for May 23-29

Photo provided by Ian McCallum.

In 2019 as part of a social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online, Native American and First Nations language activists and advocates will be taking turns managing the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of Native American and First Nations languages. This profile post is about Ian McCallum (@IanMcCallum3) and what he plans to discuss during his week as host.

Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Ian McCallum. I am a band member of the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. I am a second language learner of the Lunaape (Munsee or Delaware) language. I have been learning the language for 25 years. I enjoy running, working on old cars and historical research. I work as an educator in the province of Ontario.

RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?

The Lunaape language has been well documented. Between the two Lunaape communities in Ontario (Munsee-Delaware and Moraviantown) there is a comprehensive dictionary as well as many books written for use in schools and evening classes. Examples of the books can be found http://www.munsee.ca/language-resources/ The Lunaape language (Ontario) is endangered with fewer than 5 first language speakers and less than 100 second language learners who understand the language at various levels. There are revitalization programs established in both communities and the language is taught in daycare programs as well as local elementary schools.

RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account?

I would like to highlight the efforts to revitalize the Lunaape language on Munsee Delaware Nation, community classes, school classes, weekend language sessions, social media use (facebook and twitter).

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

The main motivations for my digital activism is to provide the Lunaape language to band members who live off reserve. I would like to bring awareness of the Lunaape language, its continued use. My hopes and dreams for the Lunaape language are to help more second language learners become fluent and create more spaces where the language lives.

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